Carrying lit candles on Thursday, the youth of the Thiruvananthapuram city marched in solidarity with their counterparts in Delhi, who have been widely protesting against a recent rape of a young woman.
The protest march invited the attention of Minister for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor who stopped by to encourage the protestors.
The protestors, more than 100 of them from the YAWP, an online community, marched from Museum premises to the Martyrs Column with lit candles and placards in their hands in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday. Students from more than 14 colleges participated in the candle light march.
Mr. Tharoor said if the atrocities against women have to stop, the mindset of the people would have to change. He welcomed suggestions from the group and promised to extend his support for future activities.
While a few who had joined the bandwagon were oblivious to the seriousness of the issue, students like Govind Vishu felt that such marches were necessary to remind each one that the political system was flawed and that the people had no power to question the ruling class.
“I am protesting against the law and order that fails miserably to protect a girl. Even when events such as this happen, justice may be delivered but no one can question the ruling class or raise a hand against their failure to protect the rights of the people,” said Mr. Vishnu.
For many, this was a starting step to open the eyes to the real issue instead of curbing the rights and freedom of women.
“Why does the city of Trivandrum maintain silence? Abuse of women is a long-standing issue. The society around us asks us to be submissive and silent when issues happen to us. What we need is a social change,” said R.S. Aswani, a student.
The community also invites people to send their suggestions to the committee constituted by the government under the chair of former Chief Justice of India J.S. Verma on amendments of criminal laws relating to safety and security of women through an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A similar candle light march was also held at Technopark under the aegis of Prathidhwani, a socio-cultural organisation of Technopark employees here on Thursday.